Distribution of Prestin on Outer Hair Cell Basolateral Surface

Yu Ning, Zhai Suo–qiang, Yang Shi–ming, Han Dong–yi, Zhao Hong–bo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prestin has been identified as a motor protein responsible for outer hair cell (OHC) electromotility and is expressed on the OHC surface. Previous studies revealed that OHC electromotility and its associated nonlinear capacitance were mainly located at the OHC lateral wall and absent at the apical cuticular plate and the basal nucleus region. Immunofluorescent staining for prestin also failed to demonstrate prestin expression at the OHC basal ends in whole–mount preparation of the organ of Corti. However, there lacks a definitive demonstration of the pattern of prestin distribution. The OHC lateral wall has a trilaminate organization and is composed of the plasma membrane, cortical lattice, and subsurface cisternae. In this study, the location of prestin proteins in dissociated OHCs was examined using immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy. We found that prestin was uniformly expressed on the basolateral surface, including the basal pole. No staining was seen on the cuticular plate and stereocilia. When co–stained with a membrane marker di–8–ANEPPS, prestin–labeling was found to be in the outer layer of the OHC lateral wall. After separating the plasma membrane from the underlying subsurface cisternae using a hypotonic extracellular solution, prestin–labeling was found to be in the plasma membrane, not the subsurface cisternae. The data show that prestin is expressed in the plasma membrane on the entire OHC basolateral surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Otology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH (NIDCD DC 05989) and NSFC (30600700, 30772413). We thank P.G. Wilson and Ni Ji for technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008 PLA General Hospital Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery


  • active mechanics
  • cochlea
  • di–8–ANEPPS
  • outer hair cell electromotility
  • plasma membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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